WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Today is National Pickleball Day – a sport many have decided to take up this summer. For beginners wanting to get into the sport, we’ve outlined how and where to play in the DMV.

Where did pickleball come from?

According to USA Pickleball, the sport was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island by Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington State, and Bill Bell, a businessman. After golfing, they found their families sitting around with nothing to do. There was an old badminton court, but Pritchard and Bell couldn’t find a full set of rackets and improvised, playing with ping pong paddles and a plastic ball.

By 1975, the first pickleball tournament was held in Tukwila, Washington.

Now, in 2023, over 70,000 people are members of USA Pickleball and there are up to 8.9 million players in the United States. In February, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association named pickleball the fastest-growing sport in America.

How to play (according to USA Pickleball)

Dimensions of a pickleball court (Gabby Allen / DC News Now)

Pickleball can be played as a doubles or singles game.

Once the players decide who serves first, the player starting on the right-hand side of the court will serve. Pickleball uses an underhand or drop serve.

There is a two-bounce rule, meaning the initial serve must bounce and the first return must bounce. After, however, you may hit the pickleball off the bounce or out of the air (a volley).

The game continues until someone makes a fault. Examples of faults include:

  • There is a double bounce
  • Someone hits the pickleball out of bounds
  • Someone hits the pickleball into the net
  • Someone hits the ball into the kitchen line

Most pickleball games are played to 11 points, and the winning team must win by two points.

Ready to play? Here are some courts in the DMV (According to Pickleheads)

In D.C.:

Rose Park Recreation Center: 2609 Dumbarton St NW, Washington, D.C., 20007 — There is one free outdoor asphalt court with a permanent net and lines.

King Greenleaf Recreation Center: 201 N St SW, Washington, D.C., 20024 — There are six wood and concrete courts, two of which are indoors and four of which are outdoors – all of the courts are free. Portable nets are available.

Washington Tennis and Education Foundation – East: 200 Stoddert Pl SE, Washington, D.C., 20019 — There are nine free outdoor hard courts. The net is a little taller than a normal pickleball net.

In Maryland:

Cedar Heights Community Center: 1200 Glen Willow Dr, Capitol Heights, M.D., 20743 — There are three indoor wood courts with portable nets available.

Montgomery County Recreation: 4010 Randolph Rd, Silver Spring, M.D., 20902 — There are 12 indoor wood courts with portable nets available. A one-time fee is required to play.

Twinbrook Community Recreation Center: 12921 Twinbrook Pkwy, Rockville, M.D., 20851– There are three free indoor wood courts with portable nets available.

In Virginia:

Lubber Run Community Center: 300 N Park Dr, Arlington, VA, 22203 — There are eight concrete and wood courts, four of which are indoors and four of which are outdoors. Permanent nets are available and a one-time fee is required to play. The courts can be reserved.

Prince William County Parks and Recreation: 15941 Donald Curtis Dr, Woodbridge, V.A., 22191 — There are eight free outdoor asphalt courts with permanent lines and nets.

Pickleballerz: 14424 Albemarle Point Pl Ste 115, Chantilly, VA, 20151 — There are six indoor hard courts available. Permanent nets are available and a membership is required to play. The courts can be reserved.